Weixin is pretty savvy; I want one and you will too.

 

Social Media Xonnection (green)If reading the words, “…the power of Weixin was that it was mobile, like a “portable organ” that unlike a PC is always with the user.” does not get your attention then I think we are done here.

If you are still with me you have either heard of the social media platform Weixin and are curious for my highly opinionated take or you misunderstood and think you can get an organ here. Fingers crossed it’s not the latter.
     Those “organ words” were uttered by Ma Huateng, Tencent’s chief executive and co-founder (Tecent is responsible for creating Weixin). He believed that Weixin saved the future of Tencent by being what people want – an all-in-one platform. Weixin grew from need and not the need of the people so much as a need for Tencent to remain relevant. In 2010 the head of Tencent’s research and development assembled a team to work on the next new thing. The inspiration was Kik messenger which Huateng feared would consume the market share and force Tencent into a black hole (my words, not his, I am paraphrasing here). Three months passed and Tencent released Weixin. Weixin was the response to the Kik messenger application but it was not just a response it was the biggest one-up, I’ll see your bet and raise you EVER! Poker Chips
     Weixin can literally do it all. Do not take my word for it, a cosmetics marketer in Shanghai claims to spend at least six hours a day on the ap and Zhang Shoufeng, a food and beverage sales woman was quoted here (a pretty decent article on Weixin) saying that she uses Weixin everyday. She said that everyone from friends and co-workers to her boss is on the ap. They chat about what to do, where to go and even discuss locations for work meetings. That is not all the application can do – the company quickly forged ahead to add features allowing users to book flight, hotels and taxis without ever having to leave the application.
     The company also found ways to connect with its users (predominantly in Asia) by incorporating traditions held in their culture. They have what is called “The Red Envelope” where users can present money to their friends and family. It mixes a tradition of giving money during the holidays with the fun of a lottery game. The user sends a set amount of money (for example $50.00) to be distributed among a predetermined group but no one knows how much will go to who until they open their “envelope”.  As of 2014 5 million people had participated sending nearly 20 million in cash. Weixin (which I should have prefaced is pronounced way-shin) is said to be a mix of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and eBay making all the users needs easy to access in one place.
     I hate to be a downer and ask out what feels like the obvious question but here I go – how successful would Weixin have been if they had not shut out YouTube and Facebook (among others)? DeadpoolA country that shuts out connection to the rest of the world and filters what it’s people see, do and how they interact may not have the same obstacles to contend with. They had one or two players to get ahead of because others are not allowed in, so to speak. There is even a mainland version (Weixin) and a version for people outside of that region (WeChat). They are not hosted on the same servers and will likely not connect you with people in China, keeping out noise  from the “outside” (another of my snarky paraphrasing moments).
     Weixin is solid and it is smart. If you want to appeal to the masses and keep their attention you have to create a need. There are other platforms even in China that were being used. Weixin pulled in the best of many platforms and made something that people not only wanted but really needed to function more efficiently. By incorporating features like the Red Envelope Campaign they personalized their offering. I think this was also a way to pull in more users. If the daily features (chatting, travel etc.) did not grab you then the Red Envelope Campaign would. Once there then Weixin had a hook in it’s users, so to speak. I personally had not heard of WeChat but if they can find a hook that speaks to different generations, regions (West Coast, North East  in the North America) or interests then I think there is a space for this. It would be nice to have everything in one spot. We are settling for everything being on the phone but imagine one “master” location. Wal-Mart tried it right – they started off as a store with a little eatery (you remember you could get microwaved fries and sit in a booth on display for other shoppers) – if you forgot it was weird and not worth remembering. It changed though, at some point they offered picture taking – like Sears, a Salon was added, then you could get your nails done – a pharmacy and now groceries. It has morphed into a one stop shop. Wal-Mart evolved. I am not certain how they are doing now (I hear their less than employee centric ways have backfired a smidge) but you get the point. If you can go one place and all (or most) of you needs are met why would you need to go anywhere else?
P.S. You wouldn’t.

 

I will go to the gym after I lose some weight … wait, what?

Just Do It. Even If You Suck

If you can get passed the lurkers and those that only go to the gym for the free tanning we all have a gym membership for one reason – to work out.

Everyone that has taken the plunge and signed-up has envisioned a better body – no, not a better one – a hot body. Wait, simmer in that image for a moment. Damn, in my mind I look hot! Like walking into a room in slow motion hot. Hot HOT HOT! 

Okay, back to reality. 

When I envision a slimmer, hotter, cuter me I do not look at a mirror, I look at clothes. Lately I have been online looking at outfits that are out of my size range and comfort zone. I am sorry, did you say “what is a size range”? Well, there is an image many of us get in our head of how we would like to look (remember a moment ago when you simmered in that image?) and then there is the size range. The range is where you know realistically you will or could be in the future. So, I have been looking outside the realistic range. Pinterest has this “women’s fashion” category where the whole outfit is conveniently pieced together complete with earrings, bracelets and a color coordinated handbags. That is where I live. In women’s fashion la-la-land.

I found myself telling my husband that I felt I was getting soft in the mid-section and things were not fitting quite right. I knew that if I just got back to the gym I would feel great and keep going but I could not seem to just do it. I had done so well and then life happened and days turned to weeks and weeks to a few months and my progress went right out the window. I do not want to start over and I sure as hell do not want to keep feeling like this.

I started walking because, I told myself, I just needed to get back in a routine. Nope, I know what I was really doing. I do not want to go back to the gym all pudged out. I am worried about how I will look and how I will have to essentially start over. In my mind, deep down, I am telling myself if I can lose a few pounds I will feel better and I will go back. WTH!? You are laughing/snicker/chuckling – hopefully not crying – because you have also told yourself this.

I have never looked at anyone in the gym and thought they should not be here (okay, maybe the really sweaty ones – the ones that have sweat pouring off them when they even look at a treadmill – maybe I have wished them away), but the others- fat, short, old, chubby, flabby, out of breath – I have never thought anything but “awesome – work it”. Most of the time though I am too worried about me to be thinking of everyone else. So why am I worried that others are going to be judging me? Isn’t it more likely they are too concerned with how they look to even notice or judge me?

While I am worried about how I will look my money is wasting away- heating the showers, powering the tanning booths and keeping the lights on for those who dare not to care. Truth is, those going to the gym care more about their health and future selves than they do about what others think. Then it hit me. Maybe it is time I do too.

Look in the mirror

 

 

We, as humans, want to be first and we want to win.

We, as humans, want to be first and we want to win.

I could be referring to a number of things, but I am talking about driving. More specifically, I am talking about those drivers that weave in and out of lanes treating cars like road cones and barely missing your side mirror as they careen by. They are the same drivers that were apparently never taught the correct meaning of merge – violators take note- merge does not mean lead foot and traffic assault to get “your” spot in line, and the drivers that cut you off in traffic and sweep in to nab the parking spot you were clearly (i.e. with blinker flashing) waiting for. Do these traffic assaulting, spot nabbing nuts ever have the decency to even make eye contact? Of course not. That would be personal and drivers like that treat driving like business. The business in being first and the business of winning.

These drivers make me crazy angry. They are dangerous and inconsiderate. I think it is the inconsiderate that gets to me. I could handle the crazy driving. If they are always ahead of me I should be safer, right? What I cannot tolerate is the trash bag that [just the other night] was sitting next to me at a traffic light. Before the light even turned green I had already seen the next 30 seconds play out. The trash bag in the truck next to me (along with a trailer hitched to the back of his truck) was going to put the petal to the metal and speed up because he had only a brief stretch of pavement before his lane would end and become my lane.

That isn’t what happened. He maintained a speed to keep us side by side. He could have sped up more, but he didn’t. He just drove next to me. I thought, wow I miss judged this. For a split second I thought he had realized his error, would slow down and get in behind me. Instead, he merged into my lane, not ahead of me, but next to me. He pushed me into oncoming traffic. Instead of coming up with an escape plan I had an Ally McBeal moment where real life paused and I watched myself slam my car into his truck screaming wildly “rubbing is racing”, just like in Days of Thunder. I quickly came to and assessed the situation and realized my only option was to speed up quickly and get in front of him. There wasn’t time for anything else. I managed to look at him and scream “whaaaaat are yoooou dooooing”? while I sped ahead.

When I secured my place in front of him I was left with the realization that I am the crazy driver. I mean, he is too – crazy on crack, but I saw the writing on the wall. I anticipated his behavior and instead of allowing him to go ahead I played his game.

Why?

I wanted to win. I wanted to be first and not be someone else’s pawn.

aggresive drivers